[ Cultural ceremony, rituals and trance states || Psychedelic cave art || Phosphenes, a universal language of the human brain || The patterns that connect us through time || We can see what our ancestors saw || Ancestral connection through technology ]
Most historians believe that we evolved from ape’s over the course of millions of years. However science has always been baffled by why we have never found the ‘missing link’ between what would be termed cave men and modern humans.
In fact now that we have genome sequencing and DNA testing, the question becomes less of a question of why we haven’t found that missing link and more of a question of IF we evolved from any humanoid figure on earth at all!
One genetic marker alone that makes us ‘human’ is so vastly different from Neanderthal and other skeletons found on earth, that the chances of it being from a genetic mistake, is inconceivable to geneticists. And being that genetic mistakes are the basis of evolution then what else may have happened?
Other historians paint a different picture. One that is hard to grasp but completely plausible when you investigate the evidence. Consider how close we are today to genetic manipulation and our increasing understandings of energy, time and space.
That picture opens the possibility of ancient astronauts with technology more advanced than ours visiting earth thousands of years ago. Could we be genetically manipulated?
Could ancient tales and myths be real
Look at how similar ancient stories, myths and documents are when describing God’s that had the ability to create bolts of lightning and fire (Missiles?), rode chariots in the sky or giant birds (flying craft?) heal (advanced medicines?) or even cause plague (radiation from nuclear energy?).
I’m not going to go down that rabbit hole but think of how you would tell tales of such things without the language to properly explain them. Are many of our myths and legends actually based on real events? Why did ancient peoples have such a fascination with the heavens and stars and build monuments to celebrate them? What reason could there be for focusing on life after death and wanting to visit the other side through ceremony and ritual?
Another option considered by historians for these Gods, Goddesses, myths and legends.., is that they are the result of inner journeys produced by the ingestion of psychedelics. Shamans would record their profound experiences for others to see and admire. Maybe even as warnings or predictions of future times of abundance.
The whole subject of recorded history is fascinating if you want to look deeper.
Cultural ceremony, rituals and trance states
Many, if not all ancient cultures that we are aware of, had at the core of their belief systems and practice, rituals and ceremonies celebrating not just life but death and ancestry.
Using dance, music, chanting and ingested psychoactive substances.., these cultures approached the subject of life and the after life. The harvest and preparation of psychoactive substances by ancient peoples did not require any laboratory or difficult process. The plants used were widely available. The result of these practices, some of which still survive, were profound trance states and hallucination experiences. Ancestors were visited, plants and animals gave messages, and wisdom was enhanced by these rituals. And this gave rise to symbols, figures, geometric shapes and traditions many of which are still in use today.
The passing on of wisdom
In some cases this wisdom and experience was passed from shaman to shaman or tribe elder to elder and protected as sacred.
In other cases this wisdom or the messages seen or heard were detailed in a more permanent way.
And one of those ways was with cave art and patterns painted on or engraved into rock.
And this is where it gets interesting.
When you compare this art from sites all over the world you start to see the similarities. And I’m not just talking about pictures of animals or portrayals of life at the time.
Some of those similarities are geometric. And where preserved enough to still see it, there is usually bright colour as well.
Circles, spirals, wavy lines, zig zags, crosses, stars, patterns radiating outwards from a central point and chequerboard type patterns are all common. And they date back as far as the oldest sign of life in art on ancient Earth ever found so far at around 90,000 years ago or more. These cultures had no easy way to communicate or share experiences with each other over continents, so how did they all arrive at the same imagery?
Psychedelic cave art
These geometric patterns are common phenomena experienced by people under the influence of psychedelic substances. And there is ample evidence that ancient cultures used such substances for reasons ranging from help with problems to learning from ancestors.
After taking things like LSD, magic mushrooms, DMT or Ayahuasca.., these moving patterns of colour and shape are a standard experience had by almost all people.
They are potentially as close to a universal experience for humans that we know of despite the environment or time that people live/lived in.
Not everyone sees people, animals or significant objects. But everyone does see some form of circles, spirals and other colourful patterns.
In neuroscience, these forms of pattern and colour are called Entoptic imagery and phosphenes. Entoptic comes from Greek meaning ‘within vision’. That alone tells a story. A recent discovery of rock art deep in the Amazon rainforrest shows some of the best preserved of this entoptic phosphene based halucination mixed in with animal and tribal imagery. (See link below)
Phosphenes, a universal language of the human brain
Phosphenes and entoptic images are caused by the interaction of cells in the eyes and visual cortex and the brain. Excitation of the cells in the eyes followed by the decay of that excitation and how that interacts with the brain causes patterns of colour shape and movement.
And these effects, although slightly different in detail from person to person.., have predictable results that are common to all people regardless of belief, religion or experience.
Phosphenes can be caused by more than just psychedelic substances though.
Among things that can cause them are pressure on the eyes, hypnosis, meditation, headaches, head trauma and some mental disorders. In fact anything that can cause a trance like state or heightened stress can cause phosphene effects.
Carl Jung noted that sometimes clients under extreme stress would spontaneously draw mandala type shapes with a central point. Flickering or strobing light can have this effect too. Stroboscopic light machines and brainwave entrainment devices like the Roxiva RX1 shown on this website take advantage of this effect to create drug free psychedelic experiences.
Generations of knowledge in an image
It is suspected by science that these phosphene visions are stored in our unconscious and maybe even our collective unconscious. IE: They are already part of our central nervous system. Is is also suggested that these experiences are part of what ensured the evolution of humanity and the human brain. This is similar to the role of REM sleep which originates in the most primitive part of the brain. REM sleep being a useful evolutionary tool for playing out fight or flight scenarios during sleep as a way to adapt to the environment.
Also increased by psychoactive substances is the effect of synaesthesia, the dominance of the right brain hemisphere and the parasympathetic nervous system. Synaesthesia is an experience of crossing of the sensory systems. For example getting a taste from a colour or feeling musical notes as temperature. Right brain dominance encourages imagery and connection to a greater whole. And parasympathetic nervous system dominance is the rest and recover state where experience can be had objectively instead of reactively.
All of this combines to create much more than the sum of the parts and can explain how people can get so much value and insight from simple images and the states that go with them. Like is said often.., a picture is worth a thousand words!
These same right brain dominance and parasympathetic effects are observed during slow wave sleep also. This is fundamental to our ability to process the days events into long term memory in a way that is useful to adjusting behaviour for surviving and thriving.
The patterns that connect us through time
Humans have shared the same nervous system and hence level of perception for all of history. It makes sense then that the imagery and consequences of that imagery like symbolism and ritual are shared also. Scientists studying these forms, symbols and patterns call them ‘shape archetypes’, because they are hard-wired into our nervous system
Therefore based on current understandings, Phosphenes and the forms that they take are most likely common to all people across all time. And being that ancient cave art and rock carvings show these forms as common around the world also.., perhaps this imagery is as close to a universal language across space and time that we will ever know. Nature can of course in same cases replicate some of these patterns to a degree in plants and weather patterns. But not to the extent that is as exact as the art found all over the world. Nor would there be any special reason to take the time to record them for future generations if they were visible already for all to see. Much more likely is that these drawings an carvings were considered very special, not so commonly experienced, worthy of recording, and potentially even a message to the future. Shamans may see this language of images and the use of ritual to access them as a way to access a type of pool of knowledge from our ancestors.
Messages from mother Earth recorded in stone
Is it possible that visions seen during such rituals were taken as messages from spirit about the future? Some researchers speculate that symbols and patterns seen as these phosphene effects were used as a type of shorthand or glyph writing to communicate. For example predictions of a good harvest of food or fertility. Some of the collections of art do suggest this. These ancient examples of art and pattern existed long before language did. What people saw played a huge part in how they perceived the world around them.
It is likely that these symbols and patterns were not only the first form of written communication.., but also universally used across the world.
And it’s only since then that separation in communication has occurred.
It’s also very likely that many religious symbols started with the experience of Phosphenes and entoptic imagery. Such as the seven seals of Judeo Islamic magic (see following link), and many of the symbols we associate with religion today.
We can see what our ancestors saw
Some people who use psychedelics would say that they are able to communicate with spirit or ancestors. Maybe they can. Maybe Phosphene evidence alone is enough to suggest it is possible. Certainly it would seem likely that Phosphenes are a result of biochemistry common to all humanity. And that by experiencing them you may well be sharing a common experience with every human that has or ever will exist.
That may sound like visions of grandeur or hopeless romanticism even. But maybe instead it could be a way to realise that we are all connected in ways that we may not be aware of.
I’m not suggesting you use psychedelic substances to connect with anyone or anything. There is certainly a growing desire and movement to connect with something though via gatherings of people and ceremony. Singing, chanting and other rituals live on in modern times.
Ancestral connection through technology
Many a user of the RX1 audio visual brainwave entrainment device have had what can only be called a connection with something or someone during a session. And that connection can of course be with themselves.
What has stayed the same for all recorded time is the enjoyment and enlightenment of shared experience and altered states. And it would seem that what has also remained for some is the desire to experience these patterns of universal experience. Is this a type of calling to explore the inner world more?
Certainly there is more to be learnt about oneself by going inwards than outwards.
Many a person using this entrainment method of inducing a drug free psychedelic experience or a deep meditative trance state has had an epiphany or eureka moment.
For some it is just an excuse to escape from normal reality and go on a journey.
For others they have met people from their past living or dead and had a significant shift from the experience.
Sometimes even, it is in the confrontation of the parts of ourselves that we don’t like that the most growth occurs. And in so doing.., perhaps we then become more open to the universal language of all humanity.